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AT&T Officially Picks Ciena

Not that this is going to shock anybody, but AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has officially picked Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) as a domain supplier for optical and transport equipment.

Actually, the only surprise is that an official press release came out on the subject. AT&T and its vendors tend to keep mum about this whole domain supplier thing. (See Ciena Enters AT&T's Domain.) The release coincides with Ciena's analyst day, held in New York this morning.

The news didn't exactly set Wall Street on fire, considering it's been assumed for months. (See Report: Ciena Scores at AT&T.) Ciena's stock was up 38 cents (2.2%) at $17.72 in midmorning trading.

Ciena was a shoo-in once it acquired the Nortel Networks Ltd. Metro Ethernet Networks assets, sources say. Nortel had the coherent 100-Gbit/s transport technology that AT&T craved. (See NSN Hopes Dashed as Ciena/Nortel Deal OK'd.)

Reportedly, that resulted in Ciena ousting Nokia Networks for one optical domain-supplier spot. (See NSN Likes Its Chances at AT&T.) The other spot was -- and, by all accounts still is -- held by Fujitsu Network Communications Inc.

AT&T declared its domain supplier program last September, intending to pick two pre-qualified vendors for each of 14 equipment categories. The multi-year contracts put the winning vendors in a position to work closely with AT&T on its network development, but they don't come with a guarantee of any business. (See AT&T Unveils Domain Supplier Strategy.)

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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